Haitian Garment Workers Go On Strike!
by Winter Storm
Workers on strike on Friday May 19, 2017
On May 19, 2017 4,000 Haitian garment workers went on strike with three demands:
- A minimum wage adjustment to 300 to 800 gourdes daily (from $4.28 to $11.43 per day), on top of meal, transportation and housing subsidies
- Workers are demanding Social Services.
- They demand that production quotas do not increase with the increased minimum wage.
The unions involved in the strike are SOTA-BO, PLASIT-BO, and Batay Ouvriye (Workers Fight).
According to Rapid Response Network, Haitian workers are often paid below the minimum legal wage and are given ridiculous production quotas. Union members are harassed and fired arbitrarily, despite union activities being legally protected under Haitian law.
False statements have been put out to the press by the garment capitalists of The Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH) stating that protesters violently forced their way into factories and attacked workers. Despite having no evidence of these preposterous claims, Jacqueline Charles, of the Miami Herald blindly repeated these lies.
On May 20 the strike continued and workers at the Sewing International, SA (SISA) factory ceased work to join the strike, but were locked inside the factory gates by the management. They managed to later join the strike. The striking workers marched towards Toussaint Louverture Airport, but were stopped by the CIMO (Haitian Riot Police), who attacked the workers with tear gas and skin irritating acid.
The strike continued on its 3rd day on May 22.
For more information and to follow the strike please check out the following links: